Sometimes the smallest festivals with the most obscure line ups are the absolute best. Sugar Mountain 2015 proved this statement correct giving Melbournians one hell of a crazy party last weekend. For just one extremely hot day Victorian College of the Arts was packed with both visual and musical delights as well as the most delicious looking crowd of people I have ever seen.
I was made aware of this treat of a summer festival after the first line up was announced and included two musicians that I needed to see but was yet to do so. Chela and How to Dress Well. In fact I was so determined to see these two artists that I made the bold decision to attend my first festival solo. I use the term ‘solo very loosely as I spent most of the day dancing with a new friend I had connected with on Twitter the morning before. I know that may seem a touch strange but Kane or @whalesRpeople2 was a bloody great person to dance along next to at the Boiler Room stage under the beaming Australian sun.
Chela put on one hell of a show for the early set time she was scheduled for. It was evident that she was excited to be hack on her home turf after returning from L.A. She kicked off with ‘Handful of Gold’ and finished up with crowd favourite ‘Romanticise.’ And for this extra special performance she was joined on stage with backup singers and dancers for the first time ever.
Tom Krell AKA How To Dress Well followed Chela on the Car Park stage which seemed to be decorated with the recycled tinsel from last year’s Christmas Trees. He arrived on stage a little late to announce that his flight from Sydney had just landed 25 minutes before hand. When the set began the first song had to be dropped due to a rushed sound check and both a microphone and violin had to be disregarded from the stage for the show to continue. However, Tom kept the crowd entertained with witty banter and was a bloody good sport about it all. He even recognised my huge excitement to see him and asked for my name over one of the mics whilst the other was being tampered with by a sound guy (we are basically best friends now). ‘Set it right,’ a song I have written about before was my absolute highlight of my day. It was worth waiting four years to hear live.
The rest of the day became a blur of sun stroke, eccentric DJs, strange yet beautiful art installations and more of those beautiful, fashionable punters. If you hadn’t heard about Sugar Mountain before, I bet you’ve now seen some of the pictures of this festival floating around somewhere. It was curated by a team of people that combined creativity and organisation extremely well. The whole festival was one big beautiful piece of art. I can’t wait to see how big she’s gonna get in 2016. I would suggest you get your tickets early.